The TIE Fighter is second only to the X-Wing in terms of its iconic stature in the Star Wars universe but all LEGO's previous attempts at TIE-craft have been pretty poor. Not only were the blue highlights totally inappropriate, but they never managed to capture the shape and distinctive structure of the radiator panels effectively.
Not only is this new version correctly coloured black and grey, it also has a grey band round the edge of the panels which makes it look excellent and pretty much spot on when compared to the prototype. My only criticism, comparing it to the prototype, is that they have used the same huge great 6x6 sloped-bit to attach the panels which is far too bulky. I suspect it will be easy enough to modify it, though.
Previous incarnations of TIE-craft have mostly just come with a pilot, but as has become common in recent Star Wars sets, this one comes packed with minifigs, no doubt in an attempt to make it more appealing to collectors. Not only do you get a TIE pilot, but also a Death Star Trooper who's wearing a new helmet, an imperial officer and R5-J2, who we have discussed before.
I highly recommend this set. It's the best TIE Fighter yet and the minifigs are great. As usual though, it is expensive (£50 in the UK, probably $50-$60 in the USA) so you may want to wait for it to be on offer.
More photos are available in my flickr stream. Due to the size of the model they are not quite up to my usual standard: I probably need a larger light tent...
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